Day 2 has gone well for Robert and he is now about an hour into an 8 hour rest break – he is ahead of schedule at the moment.
He started the day after a long sleep in a library in Cincinnati (sorry I was 24 hour early in my report yesterday about when he would be arriving there) where he had to take a picture of a VW Beetle-Dinosaur. Germans are naturally drawn to VW’s ……
He’s had good weather today as he rode through the Appalachians
He is now in Tennessee and tomorrow he should be at the first leg checkpoint in Texas (visiting Memphis on the way)
There appears to be one rider at least who is following a similar route to Robert as he has met this rider continually over the first two days – I do hope that my favourite Bavarian has not found himself another “partner” as I will be jealous …… Lol !!
So, he’s on target, taking plenty of rest and should arrive at the checkpoint early – which is all good ……
BUT – on the afternoon of day 2 he had a problem with the bike – or rather the bikes fuelling system.
The bike stalled, the cause being low pressure in the tank (again – he’s had this before) but he dealt with the issue and was soon on his way.
Now, this is actually a good thing. The fact that he’s had this problem and has successfully dealt with it will (even if only sub-consciously) increase his confidence. I know this feeling as back in 2011, I was almost waiting for the first problem to occur with my bike. Once it had and it had been dealt with, I can remember thinking “is that the best that you (the bike) can throw at me” . Now of course it wasn’t as I had far worse later in the rally to deal with, but the point was that having dealt with the (relatively easy) problem just increased my belief in getting a finish.
At some stage over the next 9 days, Robert (as indeed will all of the riders) will ask himself “Why am I doing this ? Why am I putting myself and my bike through this ordeal ? Can I really get to the end ?” He is going to hit “the wall” at some stage in day 5 or 6 or 7 or 8 or maybe earlier ……. that point when you realise that you been on the road “forever” and against the clock and it seems like that you still have “forever” to go ….. Little victories like solving this fuelling problem, no matter how trivial are then the things that you look to for “moral” support.
So 2 days into an 11 day rally and 1 day away from the end of the first leg.
So far so good ……
However, I am reminded of a story told by Steve McQueen to Yul Brynner in one of the scenes in the film “The Magnificent Seven”. It concerned a man who fell from the top of a very tall building. As he fell past each floor, people inside the building could hear him saying “so far, so good. so far, so good ……” Lol !!